How can I evaluate freelance developers?
Hiring a developer to do custom work for you can be a daunting task no matter how technically skilled you are personally. Whether hiring online using a site like oDesk or Freelancer, or hiring in person, these tips should be helpful when making your decision.
In general great developers:
1. Have experience in many platforms and languages
2. Have lots of code samples to show off
3. Have a portfolio of previous work
4. Ask lots of questions - Because they are concerned about doing a good job on exactly what you're asking for.
5. Are not the cheapest developers listed - You do get what you pay for, expect to pay $30/hour or more for a good developer. More if they are in the US, Canada or UK.
6. Don't work for agencies - Agencies tend to have a large pool of cheap developers that aren't great on sites like oDesk.
Check these boxes when looking to hire any developer to work on your Cratejoy store
1. Make sure they know the following languages
2. Ask about prior experience in eCommerce or CRM environments
- If they have experience with the Shopify or BigCommerce platforms that is a huge plus.
- Wordpress experience is not as good as eCommerce experience, but may be enough.
3. Ask for code samples
Ask to see their code, specifically ask for a link to their "github" account. Very good developers will be able to send you a link to their code samples hosted on a developer site like github, bitbucket or another source code sharing site.
If they send you a Zip file of previous work, that can sometimes be okay.
If they cannot provide code samples, you should not hire them under any circumstances.
It doesn't matter whether you're qualified to understand the code or not, being able to provide the code is a big indicator about their past experience.
4. Ask to see a portfolio or links to example work
Great developers have lots of projects they have worked on to link to. Specifically ask which parts did they work on? Frequently a developer may make a tiny contribution to an overall much bigger project and fail to disclose that when showing the project as their work.
Bonus points if they can link you to work on an existing eCommerce platform.
5. Read the reviews
Most contract work sites such as oDesk and Freelancer have public reviews. You should look for a developer who has many reviews, all positive. Some great developers have dozens or hundreds of reviews. Negative reviews should be taken very seriously.
6. Feel free to ask us!
If you gather the above information together about a candidate and want a second opinion, feel free to send us an e-mail with the above information to Cratejoy Support. Make sure to include a portfolio and code samples or we cannot give you any information. We can't guarantee that a developer will be good, but we can certainly give you a second opinion.